What you Need to Know About Building ADUs in San Diego

In response to California’s ongoing housing shortage, the state has been enacting legislation to make the construction of additional dwelling units (ADUs) more affordable and simplify the permitting process for homeowners. Formerly characterized by single-family homes on large lots, residential neighborhoods are witnessing a transformation toward increased housing density, reshaping urban landscapes and creating modern living environments.

San Diego has recently emerged as a leading advocate for ADUs, establishing itself as one of the most ADU-friendly cities. With a range of options, including ADUs, JADUs, and the innovative ADU Bonus Program, San Diego stands out as a favorable destination for those considering the development of their property. The city even created an ADU Finance Program to offer financial and technical assistance to low income residents wanting to develop their lot. If you are considering developing a property in the City of San Diego, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you get started:

For a single-family lot, alongside the existing primary residence, the construction allowance extends to one Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) and one Junior ADU (JADU). However, on multifamily lots, a diverse range of possibilities materializes. Specifically, you have the liberty to build two detached ADUs, repurpose existing habitable space into ADUs, (with a cap of 25% of the total existing unit count), and even convert existing non-habitable space to an unlimited number of ADUs! This means that property owners now have more flexibility than ever to develop their lot.

Expanding upon these parameters, the ADU Bonus Program introduces additional avenues for development! This innovative program permits the construction of extra ADUs, provided they are reserved for occupancy by very low-, low-, or moderate-income households for a 15-year period. Particularly, within Transit Priority Areas (TPAs), the program offers the opportunity for one bonus ADU per affordable ADU, with no imposed limit on the total number of ADUs, creating limitless possibilities! Even outside of these TPAs, the exchange equation remains one bonus ADU for one affordable ADU, without any supplementary bonus provisions.

While these programs were designed to assist homeowners in maximizing their property, the permitting and construction process is still filled with intricacies and complex codes that can be difficult to navigate. It is crucial to seek guidance from a local expert  to ensure you are getting the most out of your property and complying with all local laws and ordinances.

Yakov Build has extensive experience working with the City of San Diego, and numerous other Southern Californian municipalities. You can count on us to be your reliable guide for all matters related to ADU development.

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